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First Parish in Nation and Minnesota Receives Fine Art Edition

November 10, 2010 - St. Bartholomew Catholic Faith Community in Wayzata, Minn., is the first parish community in the nation as well as in Minnesota (the home of The Saint John's Bible) to receive a fine art edition of Bible.

The parish, a community of nearly 1,300 families, plans to use the volumes in educational programming, days of reflection and other opportunities for prayer. "This is not intended to be a precious artifact locked up and admired from afar," said Father Michael Reding, pastor of St. Bartholomew.  "It's our hope that The Saint John's Bible will be used regularly by the St. Bart's community and other people of faith from throughout the Twin Cities area," he concluded.

The parish community officially received the gift of The Saint John's Bible on October 30 and 31.  Father Michael Patella, OSB, associate dean and rector of Saint John's University School of Theology and Seminary, and a member of The Saint John's Bible Committee on Illumination and Text, gave the homily at the Sunday 10:30 a.m. Mass that also included a rite of reception and blessing and dedication. St. Bartholomew welcomed the first four of the Heritage Edition's seven volumes - Wisdom Books, Psalms, Prophets and Pentateuch.

In reference to the Sunday Gospel reading from Luke 19:1-10, Fr. Michael Patella spoke of Jesus reaching out to the loathed chief tax collector Zacchaeus. "We Christians, Catholics, Protestants, along with our Eastern brothers and sisters, are all Zacchaeus, and as Zacchaeus, we seek salvation in Christ … By taking on the Heritage Edition of The Saint John's Bible, you are also taking on Christ's ministry to every Zacchaeus in the world, a ministry not of shame but of honor.

"Now that you have the Heritage Edition of The Saint John's Bible in this church, every Zacchaeus form Duluth to Decorah and beyond will be climbing the trees to get a glimpse of it," Fr. Patella said to the congregation. 

An ecumenical service "Illu­mi­na­ted by God’s Word: An Ecu­men­i­cal Service Celebrating The Saint John's Bible" was also celebrated on November 9 to share the Bible with the larger community. The occasion included a multi-media service of Scripture, music and projected illuminations from The Saint John's Bible. Area clergy representing several faith communities took part in the service. The service was attended by more than 200 people from several area churches.

Parishioners John and Nancy Berg donated the Heritage Edition to St. Bartholomew to share with the entire faith community.  "St. Thomas Aquinas asked God to 'make me know what I ought to do and do it in the way I should,'" said Nancy Berg.  "The Saint John's Bible takes the words St. Thomas followed and adds modern illustrated interpretations to them, showing us God's word is relevant to all ages.  What a wonderful teaching tool for all," she said.

The Saint John's Bible is already familiar to St. Bartholomew.  Early in the creation of the original artwork of The Saint John's Bible, the church sponsored a page from the Gospels and Acts volume, the Call of the Disciples.  Visit St. Bartholomew.